Food Resource and Habitat Sharing by the three Western South Atlantic Surgeonfishes (Teleostei: Acanthuridae: Acanthurus) off Paraiba Coast, North-eastern Brazil

Thelma L. P. Dias, Ierecê L. Rosa and Bertran M. Feitoza

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 1-10, Volume 5, Issue 1 – November 2001


Diet and feeding behaviour of the three western South Atlantic acanthurids (Acanthurus bahianus, A.chirurgus, and A. coeruleus) were analysed, based on stomach contents analysis and underwater observations. Data were obtained at three natural reefs and two shipwrecks along the coast of Paraíba State, NE Brazil. The results of Schoener’s Index suggest that dietary overlap was not significant between species pairs; however, some degree of microhabitat segregation was observed. Juveniles of A. bahianus and A. chirurgus formed feeding aggregations, whereas juveniles of A. coeruleus foraged solitarily. Adults of the three studied species formed intra- or nterspecific feeding groups. Following behaviour was observed between acanthurids and Halichoeres spp., Pseudupeneus maculatus, and Sparisoma spp.

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